Serbia: Energy sector reform, environment

, News Serbia Energy

Environmental impact assessments are carried out by different authorities related to the responsibilities for issuing building permits, while all environmental impact assessments with potential transboundary impact fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection.

In total, the environmental impact assessments for six Projects of Energy Community interest were concluded so far: combined heat and power plant in Pancevo; thermal power plant Kolubara B; thermal power plant Nikola Tesla B3; hydropower plants Ibarske (10 HPPs); 400 kV OHL SS Kragujevac – SS Kraljevo and 400 kV OHL SS Resita (RO) – SS Pancevo (RS)). For three projects (400 kV OHL SS Bajina Basta – SS Kraljevo; 400 kV OHL SS Obrenovac – SS Bajina Basta and interconnection pipeline RS (Nis-Dimitrovgrad) to BU), the environmental impact assessment is ongoing, while for one project (interconnection pipeline HR – RS (Slobodnica-Sotin-Backo Novo Selo)), the preparation of the environmental impact assessment has not started yet.

Serbia has transposed the environmental Impact Assessment Directive into national law and environmental impact assessments are carried out in accordance with the provisions of the directive.

Sulphur in Fuels Directive

Serbia still fails to fully comply with the Sulphur in Fuels Directive and the infringement case launched in 2013 is ongoing. In the meantime Serbia adopted the Rulebook on Technical and Other Requirements for Petroleum-Derived Liquid Fuels and the Rulebook on the annual programme for fuel quality monitoring in 2015 and 2016. However, one of the critical issues still persists as the new rulebook allows for an unconditional derogation from the maximum sulphur content of heavy fuel oil until the end of 2019.

Large Combustion Plants Directive

Serbia has nine thermal power plants (with a total rated thermal input of 15.049 MW) falling under the scope of the Large Combustion Plants Directive. Plants are operated by Elektroprivreda Srbije. Furthermore, a total of 26 combustion plant units are operated in different industrial sectors.

Serbia submitted its draft National Emission Reduction Plan to the Secretariat in December 2015. The assessment of this plan is currently ongoing.

Two regulations have been adopted regulating the emissions of large combustion plants and these regulations effectively transpose the emission limit values of the Large Combustion Plants Directive (for existing plants) and the Industrial Emissions Directive (for new plants).

It is concluded in the report that Serbia should focus its efforts on preparing for the practical implementation of the directives, in particular via update of the environmental permits of large combustion plants with the aim of bringing those in line with the emission limit values of the directives.